Brzeg Town Hall is a Renaissance building designed by Bernard Niuron built between 1569 and 1577. It is considered to be one of the most important Renaissance monuments in Poland. In addition to its role as the seat of the municipal government of Brzeg, the building houses several other institutions.
The first building housing the municipal government in Brzeg already existed in the 14th century but was burned down in the town's great fire during the reign of George II of Brieg. The present town hall was built between 1569 and 1577. It was designed by the Italian architect Bernardo Niuron, assisted by the Italian builder Jakub Parr. In later years, the building underwent minor alterations in some of its rooms which were adapted for administrative purposes. In 1926, a Renaissance gate, from one of the Brzeg townhouses, was added to the southern façade.
The town hall is a Renaissance structure built in the town square, surrounded by an inner courtyard of townhouses. It has two storeys and a saddle roof. The most interesting part of the building is its western side. In the corner there are two quadrangular towers with tented roofs and roof lanterns. Between them spans a five-axis loggia, with semicircular arches on the ground floor. Over the loggia there is another level with windows which are separated by a cornice from the mansard roof. Fragments of the façade are covered with sgraffito decorations from the seventeenth-century. There is a four-sided central tower with an octagonal cupola topped with a balustrade and two roof lanterns. The interiors have been preserved with halls and corridors of the original design, most notably the Hall of Councillors with its wall paintings and fine ceiling.References:
Varberg Fortress was built in 1287-1300 by count Jacob Nielsen as protection against his Danish king, who had declared him an outlaw after the murder of King Eric V of Denmark. Jacob had close connections with king Eric II of Norway and as a result got substantial Norwegian assistance with the construction. The fortress, as well as half the county, became Norwegian in 1305.
King Eric's grand daughter, Ingeborg Håkansdotter, inherited the area from her father, King Haakon V of Norway. She and her husband, Eric, Duke of Södermanland, established a semi-independent state out of their Norwegian, Swedish and Danish counties until the death of Erik. They spent considerable time at the fortress. Their son, King Magnus IV of Sweden (Magnus VII of Norway), spent much time at the fortress as well.
The fortress was augmented during the late 16th and early 17th century on order by King Christian IV of Denmark. However, after the Treaty of Brömsebro in 1645 the fortress became Swedish. It was used as a military installation until 1830 and as a prison from the end of the 17th Century until 1931.
It is currently used as a museum and bed and breakfast as well as private accommodation. The moat of the fortress is said to be inhabited by a small lake monster. In August 2006, a couple of witnesses claimed to have seen the monster emerge from the dark water and devour a duck. The creature is described as brown, hairless and with a 40 cm long tail.